FMCA is hosting their International Rally in Gillette, Wyoming from July 7th to 10th. This lands on a Wednesday through Saturday and will be FMCA’s 103rd International Convention. The event’s location is at Cam-Plex Multi-Event Facilities within Gillette. The theme of this year’s convention is “Spirit of Wyoming”. At each of their expos, the RV count averages anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 units, and they expect up to 6,000 attendants.
FMCA stands for Family Motor Coach Association and was started in 1963. It was started by 26 families, with leadership from Jean and Bob Richter. These 26 families came from 8 different states, along with members from Canada. The first event took place in Hinckley, Maine. They decided that they wanted to make an official group for like-minded RVers, and that is how the club got its start. A year later, there were 184 families with memberships from 31 different states plus Canada. Bob Richter helped start the organization and ran the business out of Hanson, Massachusetts. After a huge increase of members in a short amount of time, FMCA decided to move out to Cincinnati, Ohio. Kenneth Scott took over as executive director from that point on. Although there have been a few location changes since then, FMCA is still comfortably housed in Cincinnati. The organization is always adding improvements to the area, and there is now a campground available to all members around the headquarters. FMCA has grown into the largest non-profit club for RVing. For more information on the FMCA back story, visit familyRVing.
The event calendar for the convention is jam-packed with great talent! On Wednesday, July 7th, the first day of the rally, Dane Bailey will be performing at noon. Dane Bailey is titled “The Singing Auctioneer”. He is a gospel singer who ties in yodeling styles from auctioneering. Later on Wednesday, Close Encounters of the Third Kind will play at 7:00 pm during Seminar 1. This is a science fiction movie about aliens and UFOs. On July 8th, 9th, and 10th, there will be an FMCA Trivia Challenge at 3:00 pm. The three-day event consists of answering trivia questions within teams and winning prizes. On Thursday night, the 8th, Jim Pelley will be performing at the Central Pavilion Main Stage at 7:30 pm. Jim is a returning performer at FMCA rallies and is always a fan favorite. His humorous skits are what he is known for. He has even spent time working with Saturday Night Live. The big event the next day, July 9th, is the “Magic Mile” starting at 8:00 am. It is a 1-mile walk/run/ride throughout the entire campground. This event promotes both fitness and comradery. The $10 charge for the event goes directly to the Y.E.S. House Foundation of Gillette. Check out FMCA Magic Mile for more information on the event and the charity. At noon on Friday the 9th, the “Frustrated Maestros” will be performing at FMCA Town Center Stage. This is a music group membership within the FMCA community. All the talented RVers and natural-born performers put together their singing and instrumental talents for a show! Another annual event that gets people excited is “Mr. Whiskers”. This competition searches for the best mustache, beard, goatee, and eventually the overall winner from the attendees that year. The winner receives the title “Mr. Whiskers”. Friday night at 7:30 there will be a featured entertainment event at the Central Pavilion Main Stage: Three Dog Night. This band plays a wide variety of music that reaches everyone’s interests. Saturday, July 10 at 3:00 pm, “The Amazing AJ! Magic Show” will be performing during Seminar 13 in the Exhibit Hall. Closing out the entertainment events for the convention will be Narrow Gauge on Saturday at 7:30 pm at the Central Pavilion Main Stage. This band will play classic covers, and they guarantee to get everyone up on their feet and dancing. This loaded schedule has a variety of events and performances in order to please everyone! For more information and updates on the events calendar, check out the schedule: FMCA Entertainment.
Besides the main events, some special exhibits and workshops occur both before the convention and during the convention. The exhibitor hours are 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Wednesday, July 7th, and then 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on the 8th, 9th, and 10th of July. Before the actual convention dates, FMCA is hosting a few workshops to touch on basic RV information and driving skills. The first workshop is July 4th through 6th and is titled RV Basics put on by FMCA Academy. This event was put together so that attendees don’t feel rushed to get to every lesson and seminar during the limited days at the convention. This workshop goes over RV basics, new product releases, maintenance, and so much more! The next workshop is called RV Driving School and occurs from June 20th to July 5th. The workshops only last one to two days, but you can sign up anytime between those dates. There are two different lesson options for this workshop. The first one is called the RV Driving Class which occurs on two back-to-back days. The first day is in a classroom setting, and the second day is all physically driving. The second option is the RV Backing Class which is a one-day course. This course focuses on maneuvering into small spaces and parking perfectly. The prices for these classes vary from $199 for the one-day class to $425 for the two-day course.
The FMCA International Convention 2021 is taking place in Gillette, Wyoming. Gillette is located in the northeast corner of the state. The town was created by a major railroad that ran through the area. The population of Gillette is estimated to be a little over 30,000. The town proudly calls itself the “Energy Capital of the Nation” as it provides abundant amounts of coal, oil, and natural gas for the country. When in the area, it is crucial to make a stop at Devils Tower National Monument. This landmark is one of the most popular stops throughout the entire state of Wyoming. Devils Tower is an hour’s drive northeast of Gillette. This rock formation stands at 1,267 feet high and is surrounded by grasslands. There is a very friendly visitors center as well as multiple hiking trails around the formation. The next landmark is called Vore Buffalo Jump and can be found in Sundance, Wyoming: an hour’s drive away. This sinkhole was found to have been used as a buffalo trap for Native American tribes years ago. The location is now an archaeological site and used for educational purposes. The town of Gillette is another great place to spend a day exploring. Throughout downtown there are many historical buildings and landmarks. Stop at the town’s visitor center to grab a program for a walking tour of downtown. If museums interest you, visit the Campbell County Rockpile Museum. This free experience displays artifacts and historical information about Gillette and the surrounding area. Lastly, you can take a tour of a coal mine. There is no better place to watch coal being harvested than at the “Energy Capital of the Nation”. There are tours available that last around two hours. The area around Gillette is rich in history and provides great scenic views. Take time before or after the convention to visit the area! Check out this link for other location ideas or for more information on these spots: TripSavvy.com.
For more information on the event as a whole and for your chance to register, visit the FMCA website at: https://www.fmca.com/index.php/fmca-gillette-2021-learn-more.html.
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